Golden Antlers – Swan Blessing Ancestral Folklore and New Sessions

Artwork: The Wood Witch by Nadia Turner

Today at the full moon eclipse in Leo I share with you the Swan Blessing story of the vow to close down a Grandmother’s teachings. This is the swan story received by artist and tattooist, Victoria Rose on Mt Tamborine in Queensland. It was also the very first Swan Blessing session that I held in Australia after journeying through the lands of England, Ireland and Scotland leaving dolls for the forgotten and interviewing the guardians and keepers of sacred sites dedicated to the women’s mysteries and healing.

After returning from this journey, I felt even more dedication to working with the Swan to clear the blocks and pain from our own ancestral folklore of the plant healers, seers and storytellers. I was also gifted new experiences and understanding after spending time in Scotland, the land of my own Grandmothers that has led to a deepening of the Swan Blessing work with 3 new journeying sessions:

New Swan Blessing Sessions

The Animal Wife: Dreaming back the animal skin and gifts that have been forfeited to live in the mundane world.

Hag Stone: Tracking and healing the Witch lineage, opening the eye of the Seer.

Family Folklore: Reclaiming the lore of your ancestors & releasing unhealthy family beliefs.

If you would like more information on this next level of Swan Blessing work, you can contact me to discuss what you feel you need.

The Storyteller by Nadia Turner

Victoria Rose and I had had interactions with each other for just over a year and I could feel that she wanted to journey to clear and unblock her own healer’s story but that there was also a lot of resistance. This is completely understandable when we think about the centuries of persecution of women’s medicine and wise ways. I understood the trepidation but let Victoria Rose know that the journey we make with the Swan is always a gentle and loving one. This is her gift to the women – to hold them with great strength and softness as they journey back to heal the fragmented story. We have been through enough trauma, we do not need to experience it again to heal it. We already know the pain, we have been journeying for lifetimes with memories in our DNA from our lineages and grandmothers, we may have memory of past lives and we are also sometimes carrying the collective memory or story of what has happened to the healers, herbalists and witches of the past.

This can lead us to believe that it’s still not safe to share all of our gifts with an open heart and freedom again but I believe the planet needs the people of the earth who are connected to nature and her healing ways more than ever. And the important thing to remember is that we are living in different times and we have so much more support and wisdom opening up again to be shared with love.

We share these stories because they are all our stories. These are part of the ancestral folklore of women’s medicine and wise ways and I hope they bring understanding to anyone who needs them. By releasing the stories of how the wise ways were closed down we create space to write and create new ancestral folklore stories for ourselves, our ancestors and the daughters to come.

Victoria Rose told me after her journey that this was a lifetime and story that she had journeyed to previously but had not been able to heal and complete the teachings. And so instead of empowering her it still frightened her. I believe it’s so very important to come to resolution and healing with our journeys and I was honoured to hold space for this beautiful young artist to reach this resolution with the Swan.

I am healed, I am safe and I will serve as my Grandmother taught me

“I’m in a cave with a deep pool of water. As I look into the reflection, I see a woman. Her hair is dark and her eyes are wild with fear and confusion. This woman is me. I have heavy gold collars hanging from my neck down my chest with a long robe underneath. In a large stone temple, I’m there as a servant to the elites. I’m alone.

How did I get there?

In a beautiful valley. Mountains in the distance, woodlands open out to grass plains. It was here that I learnt the healing arts from my grandmother. This is my home. We provided a service to the community. I was at peace an very happy being connected to the land and my people. I do not want for anything.

One day the authorities turn up at our doorsteps and ask if I would go work in the temple. I refuse. They return and remove me by force. It was in the days after this that I promised I would not use my abilities ever again. This vow did not change what was to come. 

I am back in the cave now. The lady of the sacred well is with me. I can feel a heavy helmet over my head sitting on my shoulders. The lady uses a tool and breaks it open. I am free from this bond and she takes me into the pool. In the healing waters I am scrubbed clean by the Spirit Grandmothers. 

Out of the pool now the Swan has come to take me high in the sky. We are journeying to the Sun. I have gold antlers. Inside the Sun, I’m filled with light and all trauma is burnt away.

The Swan takes me back down to earth. It is time now for me to release the vows I had once spoken. I must say three things.

I am Healed.

I am Safe.

As I try to make my last statement, tears start choking, electricity shoots through me and I am convulsing. 

Finally I say, “I will serve as my Grandmother taught me”.

As I drive home I take a different route down the mountain. I pass black swans beside a pond. 

Thank you Julia for this journey. Throughout I felt held in Truth and honoured. I felt like I was understood and respected. I’m forever changed and have started to integrate parts of myself I had lost. It is an amazing gift you have given me. 

Forever grateful to you and the Swan.”

Victoria Rose, 2016

Artemis by Victoria Rose Tattoo

I am grateful to Victoria Rose for facing her fears and healing this story. She has also courageously shared her story to help anyone who may have similar memories. If you would like to see Victoria Rose’s beautiful artistry and tattooing this is a link to her Instagram page. I think it’s important for us to have artists working on our body that carry magic and healing. I know that many feel that tattooing is also a new way to re-write our ancestral folklore and to break through old laws stopping free expression. Many of us have memory of sacred markings and sigils on our bodies and the bodies of our grandmothers. Embracing tattooing again is like stepping over another threshold into freedom to adorn our bodies as we please and in a ceremonial way again.

Thank you to Nadia Turner who has allowed us to share her beautiful artwork The Wood Witch and The Storyteller as reflections of the new work with the Swan: The Animal Wife and Hag Stone. Please have a look at the rest of her enchanted creations at www.waywardharper.com

Book a Swan Blessing session with Julia

Asha’s Swan Blessing Story – BoneWoman

Susan Seddon Boulet

Today I share with you Asha’s Swan Blessing story of past life Ancestral Medicine.

There are many reasons why we block and resist opening full connection to Ancestral Medicine again. Sometimes the medicine we have access to is so ancient and unknown to the mind that it frightens us. It may also carry the bindings of memories of carrying these gifts in times when it was dangerous and misunderstood. Many witches, healers and shaman were persecuted for possessing healing medicine that was viewed by a later religion as evil. The seeds of Ancestral Medicine are ancient and indigenous to the land they were birthed through, but these lands may not be where you find yourself living now and the wisdom needed to understand your medicine may not be available to you in your current environment or family.

When Asha came to me, she came with a heavy fury and pain. She also came carrying deep shame from lifetimes of believing that she had been the cause of a terrible and traumatic event. Asha’s medicine in another lifetime was that of BoneWoman and Midwife. In this lifetime Asha had been drawn again to shamanic midwifery but was experiencing great pain and confusion when she sat with her sisters. In journeying back to the point of Soul Loss and closing down of her medicine, Asha saw that she’d lived in a time of high infant mortality and was a healer from the forest who was looked on with fear as she came not to birth the baby but to save the mother after the baby had died and heal the baby’s soul and spirit through bone magic. Like many female healers, Asha experienced being blamed for the illness and ‘bad luck’ in her village and was made to watch as her sisters were murdered for her supposed crime. This led Asha to make the Sacred Vow to close down her Medicine and close her heart to Love.

This Swan Blessing was painful for Asha but so very beautiful in it’s healing and return to Love. Asha gifts her Swan story to us here to help anyone else who may be resonating with these feelings.

“Her eyes are dark, black like ink. Thick black eye brows snake to a sculpted nose and her hair like coal rests heavy down her breasts.  

She is enraged, I feel it in my body, a hot convulsion, a shudder behind my brow, thick in my throat. But she trusts me, she trusts me and she reaches out her hands and I fall quickly and wholly through the inky pools of her eyes. I am in a dusty street, and alley between square earthen homes. Little stalls line the street and although it is not overy busy I cannot see her. Then it is that I glimpse her, see her walking briskly, almost, almost running, her scarf and clothes conspiring in the shadow of the buildings to conceal her almost completely. We come to a door way and when I enter at first I cannot see. There is a smell of death and metal. I cannot decide if I am in a home or the halls of a sort of hospital, not as I know it, but there is a long dark hall and I feel if not see many rooms. I feel other midwives, and also I don’t and then we are in the room and my eyes have adjusted, just, and there is a mess. Blood and sweat and tears and the echo of pain to great to bear drench the air. A metalic stench. The mother, thick and heavy with her body’s outpourings, past screams that have racked her body, and her hallow moans are all the worse for their subdued volume. A liquid is given, brought I assume by my dark eyed self but it is not she who holds it to her lips. Her entire focus is elsewhere.
The babe stuck and dead.  

I watch her a long time. I think she wants me to know what it took. The physicality, her whole body wrenching from the woman’s now limp one the the dead babe. Every thing she had. And more. And the numbness necessary. A resigned determination. Or a determinded resignation. She does not know if the mother will live, and in this very moment, in a certain way, she does not care, and the babe is too long dead. But she must pull it free. All she knows is that she must. And then it is done. There is a chaos in the room but we are removed from it all. No one looks at her. No one looks at the baby. No one looks at us.
Too many dead babies.  

We are in the forest. A very small clearing created from the felling of one tree on whose stump rests something important. Show me, and she does, but it comes slowly. There are bones. For a long time all I see is the bones. As she moves them I understand she has collected them. Here is the skeleton of a rabbit. A deer. At first I do not understand. Teach me. She carefully aranges each bone to form the skeleton of the creature it once was. But one bone, one bone she takes from the baby. One bone she replaces. And then she breathes on the bones. She breathes the breath the babe never took. She breathes it into the rabbit bones until they breathe themselves. The rabbit lives, and the child lives in the rabbit. In the deer, in the birds of the forest. She is calm. She is sad but she knows what to do.  

She is old. She is so old. She is bitter. So bitter. I shake with her rage and she tastes like poison, like bile, yellow, green, black. The front of my body rots from it. And I ask her why. And she shows me.
There is blood. There is blood. And there are limbs. Pieces, pieces, pieces of them. Mothers, daughters, sisters, midwives. They are hacked. They are hacked. They are hacked. And their blood pools and she is held. She is held by hard rough hands and arms, it takes many to hold her. There is an arm thick with muscle with soft blonde hairs. But they make her watch. They make her watch what she has done. They tell her this is her fault. The blood. The faces. The pieces. What do they call her?
Witch. 

And it shivers though our spine. And it shivers through our time.
I have to fly above it to understand what cannot be understood. But she is held in place. All she can see are those she has killed.
She is old again and she coughs up the binding like stale phlegm. I will not help. I will never help again. What I know her to say is, I will not love. I will not heal. I will not love again.
She binds her love and her healing gifts.
I go to her. With my heart I see her. With my heart I understand. And I love her. I forgive her. And I tell her we are free. 

Our soul family comes, her sister midwives, and we are shocked, because they welcome her, they love her with open arms, here are her sisters who died, whose deaths we feel responsible for. But they do not ask us to hold this pain. They ask us to let ourselves be forgiven. And they become light like balloons, light like feathers, and she is rabbit, she is deer and she bounds into the forest. I cry for us because we are welcomed. We are welcomed home. We are welcomed back into love.  

I am as heavy as she is light.
The daughter comes to me. I see my binding, it is arms. It is hands wraped around my torso. It is metal shackles on my ankles. The daughter comes to me and she hands me a scythe, the same one, and I shudder, but I hack away the hands that bind, and when they fall I slice smoothly through the metal on my ankles, the chain crumbles into dust. But the real work is the poison. The daughter puts her mouth to mine and she sucks the poison. She sucks and she sucks and she is serpent and woman and she sucks and she sucks. And she is done. Except there is something left. I spit out the last bit of bitterness.   

We are free. 

And I,
I am safe to love again.”  

………

Deer Julia,I have felt profoundly this releasing. I am feeling more whole and more held in this life. And I can see today swan and in her gentle permeance. Gliding on the rivers of my journey. I have called in my sisters when I have felt my need, and they have come. And I feel them, all the women who have chosen to love me in this life. All the women who have chosen to love me in many lives. And I am releasing my shame. And in allowing myself to receive this love, allowing myself to be part of this cycle, allowing myself to love, I am coming to the freedom to be more and more alone. More all-one. Asha, 2014


Thank you Asha for sharing your heart and your story, oceans of love for the gentle holding of your beautiful medicine again, love Julia x

Swan Blessing – Heretic or Wise Woman

The Heretic by Frank Craig 1906

HERETIC

synonyms:
dissidentdissenternonconformist, unorthodox thinker,  freethinkericonoclastschismaticrenegade


Another beautiful Swan Blessing story to share with you today from our book in creation: ‘Releasing the Ties That Bind’. Thank you Bec for your sharing as I read it, I felt the healing for us all again. With your telling you are helping so many who are feeling the bindings and very real fear of persecution of the Wise Woman again in our time. This Swan journey is so amazingly empowering, I honour you sister and the return of your great gifts in fearless love.
I was in a small cottage in the woods, surrounded by small children , an elderly lady was crying as I  kissed them goodbye.  I knew they were coming for me. I knew I was a wise woman and they feared me. I actually felt at peace. I told the elderly woman it would be alright. I was quite young with beautiful long hair.
My next thought was to get away from cottage as I could see the torches in the distance.  I started running through the woods. They caught me about 500 meters from my cottage. My thought then was are my family are safe as I looked back towards the cottage? They had me on my knees with my head pulled back by my hair. I was surrounded by men and could feel the fear in their heart. I was taken under the cover of darkness. It was a lynch mob. A powerful man with the authority was behind the scenes. Orchestrating the outcome. I felt he was scared of my inner power.  
The very next thing I saw was a vision of her standing on a pyre. It quite surreal as I stepped out as myself from the future to see my past self on the pyre. I could see a sea of what looked like Pilgrim hats, and a town square. She was searching frantically for someone or something in the faces before her; she knew this was going to happen. There was no hatred in her body, only sadness and compassion, for the people doing this to her. I watched as the tears streamed down my face. 
I stepped forward and her eyes locked onto to mine. She smiled at me and said with her eyes:  ah good you are here! I have been waiting. My soul felt like it exploded in to a million pieces, it was such a deep and profound connection. Her words to me were: You are free, Have no fear. They cannot come for you in this lifetime. Your family are safe. Be true to your soul and path. With that she closed her eyes and tilted her head skywards. And whispered ‘I am ready” to the Heavens.   As they lit the pyre. I saw a bright white light come down from above. She was enfolded by light and I could see two beings beside her. The flames had only reached her feet. But she was already free.  
Julia and Tony I thank you for releasing my fear/binding, in this life as a healer/witch/ wise woman. I hadn’t realised that this fear of judgement and persecution had been holding me back. Also my intense dislike of authority makes sense. My past self had no fear; No anger, she accepted it, in perilous times of who she was.  Her message to me was the gift of Freedom, acceptance and walking the path of self truth. No more Hiding.   
With Love, Bec 
I urge you all to experience the potent and healing medicine of Bec Rainbowalker. For years Bec worked as a nurse and in palliative care had many experiences of the divine crossing over of the soul. I am so happy to say that she is honouring her wise gifts and is now offering incredible sessions of energetic and intuitive healing here in Melbourne. She offers such beauty and grace to all especially those recovering from grief and loss after death as she is a beautiful ‘midwife of the soul’ and has such a deep understanding of the journey of the soul from this life to the next. 
Love your way, Sister : www.rainbowalker.com

Violet’s Link to Plant and WOmen’s Mysteries – Spirit Doll Medicine

Violet – Emily’s Spirit Doll

Dear Julia, 

Here is the story of my Violet Medicine Doll… 

On the weekend of the Swan Blessing Spirit Doll workshop I had only recently discovered I was pregnant. I had been keeping this delicious, mysterious secret inside. Only my husband and I knew and we were surprised at how deep and dark the knowledge felt…how wrong it would be to talk about yet. 


I had been sleeping and dreaming a lot and was just starting to get waves of nausea when I woke or during the day when my mind wandered the dreamworld. A lot of my dreams felt heavy and I was having flashes of past life traumas. I started taking walks in the morning by the river to let these feelings flow through me and away. I was drawn again and again to a patch of violets growing in the shade along my walk. Their delicate smell made me feel better, like the flowers understood the important work I was doing and gently supported the secrets within me. So I came to the workshop with these violets, knowing that the doll I made would be a Violet Medicine Doll, one who could travel the darkness of my dreams with me and remind me of the delicate beauty to be found there.
The journey the Swan Blessing took me on was surprising but perfectly synchronised with the energies I’ve described…

I gaze into the pool and see the face of my other self. She is tall, slim, queenly. She shifts from being black haired and young to silvery and old. Sunshine and moonlight. Masculine and feminine. She is a desert woman, Bedouin. 
 


She works with the plants of the desert, the ones that bloom in oases in the moonlight, and survive in cracks and crevices and caves. Slow dripping, seeping water underground. Women’s mysteries.
 


She sings the song of the desert, she calls these plants into life. She tattoos the journeys and knowledge of her people onto her skin. She bathes in underground pools at night. She is strong, powerful, respected and loved.
 

She binds her wisdom when white men arrive to “study” their nomadic way of life. She puts a halt to the growth cycles. She will never share the songlines, the stories. The plants will die and wither away to dust, unnoticed in their secret places. She has forseen the destruction white man will bring so she will not pass her knowledge on to her daughters. She will not burden them with the secrets.
The binding is tight around my waist, my solar plexus. I cannot be true to myself. I cannot reveal the full extent of my wisdom, or pass it on to the baby in my womb. I am withholding, withering inside. I feel sick to my stomach.The sister of the well hands me a knife to cut the binds and I hear my other self begin to sing the desert heart song again. Her wisdom is free and it flows through her, through the desert sands and winds and the moonlight, through my open centre and into my baby. I feel the unfolding of my mysterious violet baby just as the desert plants unfurl and come to life in the secret dark places.Together we will find the balance again of sunshine and moonlight, masculine and feminine, learning and intuition, spirituality and grounding.
 

I place seven violets inside my doll for each chakra and a sprinkling of Uluru red earth at her heart and feet to ground us in this land, connect us to our songlines and dreaming tracks. She carries the sacred gum in her medicine pouch. This baby will know the songs of the desert and the ocean, the blinding sun and the darkness. All the polarities. 

The doll dances and sways forward. She knows where she is going and where she is from. The strength and fragility of violets drifts from her like a sweet scent that you almost can’t catch except in your memory.

I am so in awe of the power of the spirit and medicine doll and the journey they take their creators on as they are made that I have begun collecting these journeys as part of our Swan Blessing book. Perhaps there will be so many that they will make a book on their own. I am also researching the history of this ancient ancestral practice of making a doll to help ourselves or someone else heal and it is a beautiful journey of it’s own. Thank you Emily for sharing such a precious experience and time in your life, oceans of love to you and your growing tribe. If anyone would like to share their doll and the story of it’s making you are welcome to send it to us. 

Our next Spirit Doll workshop: Reclaiming Ancestral Medicine of the Spirit Doll will be held on Saturday 19th October. 


Simple Isn’t Easy – Shawna x

“I drew this for my birthday friend Lisa, who is at heart, a desert princess.  This landscape is also inspired by an absolutely beautiful collection of photos of the American West by Timothy O’Sullivan. The two foxes are her spirit animals guiding her in the desolate dreaminess of the mountain range – the same desert where I picture my friend roaming as an animal in a pastlife.” Shawna X

Born Free – Release the Ties That Bind

‘Born Free’: Saoirse Ronan by Rankin 2013

A past life vow that often comes up to be cleared is the Vow of Marriage. Some of us carry vows that still connect us to other souls from lifetimes past and this can be an unsettling feeling when we encounter these souls again playing different roles in our current life. Even when relationships in our present lifetimes break down and marriages end in divorce, the vows that we made in those ceremonies may still be holding firm even though you may not be physically living together.

When we marry we make Sacred Vows, these words we speak are spell-binding – is the Vow you are speaking dedicated to creating fearless love or are you binding yourself with words that are more about tradition than your current, real values? The Vow of Obedience is still made in some marriage ceremonies to this day. It is different for everyone, trust your knowing and feel into your heart. Is it open or does it feel bound?

Without binding we can love fully, with great honesty and respect for ourselves and our beloved. Take back your wild heart, it was born free.